Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy puts safety first while gradually reopening businesses, resuming activities and getting people back to work. With strict safety guidelines in place, Albertans can and should confidently support Alberta businesses as we relaunch the economy.
While we face a long road to recovery, our collective efforts have helped slow the spread of COVID-19.
We must ensure the sacrifices we have already made are not wasted. To be successful, we must stay vigilant to slow the spread: follow public health measures, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and continue acting responsibly.
Conditions for relaunch
To ensure a safer reopening, the following elements must be in place for the first stage of relaunch:
- enhance our nation-leading testing capacity at the highest level in Canada
- robust and comprehensive contact tracing, aided by technology, to quickly notify people who may have been exposed
- support for people who test positive to enable effective isolation and contain spread
- stronger international border controls and airport screening, especially for international travellers
- rules and guidance for the use of masks in crowded spaces, like mass transit
- strong protections for the most vulnerable, including those in long-term care, continuing care and seniors lodges
- a rapid response plan in the event of possible outbreaks of COVID-19
Key measures to watch and timing
Thanks to Albertans, the health care system continues to be able to cope with COVID-19.
The plan to move forward requires careful monitoring and respecting all guidelines outlined by the chief medical officer of health.
Each stage of relaunch will depend on our ability to keep infection numbers low. Health measures we are watching include hospitalizations and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy.
Confirmed cases will be monitored in real time to inform proactive responses in localized areas of the province.
As we consider relaxing public health measures, we will evaluate, monitor and adjust course as needed. We may need to step back at times, but we will adjust and move forward together.
Enhanced infection prevention and control measures, including physical distancing requirements of at least 2 metres, will remain in place throughout all stages.
For more details:
- Opening soon: Alberta's relaunch strategy
- Workplace guidance for reopening on Alberta Biz Connect
PANDEMIC RESPONSE (Prior to May 14)
During the pandemic response, the strongest public health guidelines to manage COVID-19 and foundational elements to support relaunch were put in place.
Early actions allowed some activities to resume on or prior to May 14:
- Some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries.
- Dental and other regulated health-care workers such as physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, respiratory therapists, audiologists, social workers, occupational therapists, dieticians and more can resume services as long as they follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.
- Golf courses, with restrictions.
- Boat launch access in select provincial parks.
- Vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas on public lands and parks.
- Alberta Parks' online campground reservation system opens May 14 for bookings at select campgrounds starting June 1 onward, with some restrictions in place. Out-of-province bookings will not be processed. See: Visiting Alberta Parks during COVID-19
With enhanced testing capacity and contact tracing ability, along with a rapid response plan in place in the event of possible outbreaks, Alberta is ready to take the first incremental steps to reopen some businesses and services starting May 14.
STAGE 1 (Starting May 14)
- Cities of Calgary and Brooks are reopening more gradually due to higher case numbers.
- Business operators can determine if they are ready to open and ensure all guidance for workplaces is met.
- Mask use is strongly recommended in crowded public spaces, like mass transit, that do not allow for physical distancing of 2 metres apart.
- Retail businesses like clothing, furniture and book stores.
- All farmers' market vendors.
- Hairstyling and barber shops.
- Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen for table service at 50% capacity.
- Some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries to resume gradually.
- Museums and art galleries.
- Daycares and out-of-school care, with occupancy limits.
- Day camps, including summer school, with occupancy limits.
- Post-secondary institutions will continue course delivery, with flexibility for in-person delivery once the existing public health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
- Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow sector-specific guidance.
- Dog parks and playgrounds, unless restricted by municipal authorities.
- Gatherings of more than 15 people indoors or more than 50 people outdoors is not permitted, unless otherwise identified in public health orders or guidance, such as workplaces, places of worship or in restaurants.
- Gatherings under these limits must follow physical distancing and other guidance.
- Public attendance at businesses, facilities and events that have close physical contact is not permitted, including: arts and culture festivals, major sporting events and concerts.
- Movie theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, nightclubs and gyms will remain closed.
- Visiting patients in health care facilities will remain limited.
- In-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 students will remain prohibited.
- People over 60 or those with pre-existing health conditions should continue limiting contact with people outside their immediate household and staying home as much as possible. If you do go out, do so carefully.
- Travel outside the province is not recommended.
- Remote working is advised where possible.
- Download the ABTraceTogether mobile contact tracing app and use it when in public.
Progression to Stage 2 will be determined by the success of Stage 1, considering health care system capacity, hospitalization and ICU cases, and infection rates.
STAGE 2 (Timing TBD)
- Potential opening of K-12 schools, with restrictions.
- Libraries, with restrictions.
- More surgeries scheduled, including backlog elimination.
- Services offered by some allied health disciplines like acupuncture and massage therapy.
- More personal services like artificial tanning, esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments and reflexology.
- Larger gatherings permitted in some situations (number of people to be determined).
- Restaurants, cafes, lounges and bars continue operating at reduced capacity.
- Movie theatres and theatres, with restrictions.
- Visits to patients in health care facilities will remain limited.
- Nightclubs, gyms, pools, recreation centres and arenas will remain closed.
- Arts and culture festivals, concerts and major sporting events will not be permitted.
- Travel outside the province is not recommended.
Progression to Stage 3 will be determined based on success of stages 1 and 2.
STAGE 3 (Timing TBD)
- Fully reopening all businesses and services, with some restrictions.
- Larger gatherings permitted (number of people to be determined).
- Arts and culture festivals, concerts and major sporting events will be permitted with restrictions.
- Nightclubs, gyms, pools, recreation centres and arenas will reopen, with restrictions.
- Industry conferences can resume, with restrictions.
- No restrictions on non-essential travel.
- Physical distancing restrictions will be maintained.
All workplaces are expected to develop and implement policies and procedures to address COVID-19.
More tips and guidance will be added as we continue the staged relaunch.
This guidance supports all workplaces in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Wearing non-medical masks (May 14)
Flushing water systems (May 13)
This guidance supports sectors currently allowed to operate under public health orders.
Dog parks (May 16)
Farmers’ markets (May 18)
Food processing operations (May 20)
Funeral homes (May 23)
Golf course operators (May 1)
Grocery stores (May 24)
Health sector PPE guidelines (May 2)
Homeless shelters (AHS)
Industrial work camps (April 25)
Post-secondary institutions (May 23)
Private and municipal campgrounds (May 18)
Shooting (firearm) ranges (May 25)
Planning for operations
This guidance is to prepare for Stage 1 relaunch starting May 14. The cities of Calgary and Brooks will reopen more gradually with some services resuming now.
Day camps (May 18)
Daycare & out-of-school care (May 23)
Graduation ceremonies (May 16, also in French)
Hair salons and barbershops (May 18, 6 languages)
Interpretive attractions (May 24)
Malls and shopping centres (May 24)
Museums and art galleries (May 18)
Outdoor recreation (May 18, 6 languages)
Places of Worship (May 23, 12 languages)
Playgrounds (May 16)
Preschools (May 26)
Restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars (May 18, 6 languages)
Retail (May 11, 6 languages)
Taxis, limos and rideshares (May 24)
Alberta Biz Connect
Workplace guidance and support is available to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 to reopen and resume operations safely.
Restricted and non-restricted services
The list of businesses and sectors currently permitted to or are restricted from providing services at locations accessible to the public.
Help us, help you
How we can cut red tape to help your business save time, create jobs and reduce costs?
Do your part
We’re confident Albertans will face relaunch and recovery with the same focus, discipline and resilience they have shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
We need to guard against complacency and be patient.
Our individual actions are the strongest tool we have to protect our health care system and each other as we work to relaunch our economy.